What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, May 4-10, 2023

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Blooms, baking and blues create a star line up for What’s Good. Enjoy the sweet life at the annual Island Grove Blueberry Festival. Dance to the rhythm and blues with Morty’s Rhythm Cream at the Legacy Park Concert Series or head to Downtown Gainesville for a little flair and style with the Great Gainesville Car Show at Bo Diddley Plaza. Spot wildlife and see springtime blooms on guided tours at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and Sweetwater Wetlands Park. Plus, don’t miss the final weekend of Silent Sky, based on the true history of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt at the Hippodrome Theatre.

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. Explore history, culture and more with special events and resources shining a light on AAPI experiences and contributions.

Congratulations to the University of Florida and Santa Fe College Class of 2023! We are honored that your path in higher education led you to Gainesville. This week we welcome the many friends and loved ones joining graduates in well-earned celebrations.

Scroll down for fun news and giveaways for National Travel and Tourism Week, May 8-12, 2023. And as always, read on for more of What’s Good!

Be safe and be well,
Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

Be Informed.
The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. Please contact organizers directly to double-check details.


Celebrate a Sweet Superfood at the Island Grove Blueberry Festival
Saturday, May 6, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Across from Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House
21921 SE US Hwy 301, Island Grove, FL 32654

Locally grown blueberries are only available for a short window during the year. The annual Island Grove Blueberry Festival celebrates the harvest and helps support the Cross Creek volunteer fire department. Browse artisan craft vendors, participate in the blueberry cake contest, enjoy the kid zone and bounce house, transport provided to and from Aunt Zelma’s u-pick blueberry farm. Add more to your day with a nearby visit to Island Grove Winery and Tasting House, The Yearling Restaurant and Majorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park.Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

swamp head may the 4th beer with you

Use the Force and Raise a Glass at May the Fourth Beer With You
Thursday, May 4, 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Swamp Head Brewery
3650 SW 42nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32608

For one night only, The Wetlands at Swamp Head Brewery become the Swamps of Dagobah at the annual celebration of a galaxy far, far away. Four brand new themed beer releases include Raspberry Crest Berliner, Tai Fighter milkshake IPA, Mosaic Falcon NEIPA and X-Tra Wing bourbon barrel-aged stout. Enjoy live music from Sooza Brass Band and tasty menus from Mayflower Foodtruck and EIM Thai. Online orders for beers and glassware begin at 12 p.m. on Thursday, find more details online.

woman looking at celestial star map

Don’t Miss the Final Stage Performances of Silent Sky. Laugh, Learn and Laugh Some More with the Hippodrome’s Revealing and Entertaining Smash Hit about the Life of Female Astronomer Henrietta Leavitt
Now through Sunday, May 7 | Hippodrome Theatre
25 SE 2nd Pl., Gainesville, FL 32601

Silent Sky is based on the true history behind the female “computers” who lead the Harvard Observatory into a new age of scientific discoveries. Astonishing revelations await Henrietta Leavitt as she maps distant stars in galaxies beyond our own. However, this brilliant, headstrong pioneer must struggle for recognition in the male-dominated world of turn-of-the-century astronomy. 

The final Sunday performance features a free pre-show lecture in the Hippodrome Basement at 1 p.m.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

colorful flower blooms

See Springtime Blooms on a Guided Walk Through Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Saturday, May 6, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608

See blooms in the hummingbird garden and the freshly planted giant Victoria water lilies beginning their growing season. Spanning 68 acres, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens features paved walkways, the largest public display of bamboo in Florida and the largest herb garden in the southeast.

colorful bird at sweetwater wetlands park

Spot Wildlife and Learn How a Park Can Improve Water Quality on a Ranger-Led Walking Tour at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Sunday, May 7, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Sweetwater Wetlands Park
325 SW Williston Rd., Gainesville, FL 32641

Sweetwater Wetlands Park consists of more than 125 acres of wetlands and ponds and improves the water quality of Paynes Prairie and the Floridan Aquifer. Recent bird sightings include Sandhill Crane, Sandpiper, Downy Woodpecker, Great Crested Flycatcher and Palm Warbler. Tours are free with park admission.

Learn about water management and wildlife found at the park. Tours last about 1 hour and include a walking portion of about 1-mile start to finish. Bring water, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes.

birds and brews

Go Birding at the Brewery at the Birds and Brews Guided Bird Walk
Sunday, May 7, 5:45 p.m. – 7 p.m. | First Magnitude Brewing Company
1220 SE Veitch St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Join volunteers from Alachua Audubon Society at First Magnitude Brewing Company before departing on a guided one-hour nature walk at Depot Park. All levels of birding experience is welcome. Bring binoculars or borrow a loaner pair. After the walk, return to the brewery for a nightcap.

uncle mortys rhythm cream

Dance with R&B and Soul Music from Uncle Morty’s Rhythm Cream at the Legacy Park Concert Series
Saturday, May 6, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Legacy Park Amphitheatre
15400 Peggy Rd., Alachua, FL 32615

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy live music from the outdoor stage. Uncle Morty’s Rhythm Cream features a full horn section with songs from Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and more. The amphitheater includes food trucks on site and bounce houses for kids. Admission is free. 

world food festival

Connect Cultures and Foods from around the World with Florida Heritage Crops at the World Food Festival
Monday, May 8, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Grove Street Farmer’s Market
1001 NW 4th St., Gainesville, FL 32601

International and cultural organizations expand the farmer’s market experience. Explore urban farm tours, enjoy live music with Coco Palm Trio and Lionel Jr. Browse World Food Festival vendors with food samples, cooking demos, children’s activities and more. 

national travel and tourism week


Stop by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County, May 8-12, and Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of National Travel and Tourism Week with Us  

Visit Gainesville, Alachua County joins the tourism and hospitality industry in celebrating the importance of travel, not only to the local economy but to our collective quality of life. We’ve planned a full schedule of activities for National Travel and Tourism Week this year, including giveaways all week long to show our love and appreciation for YOU, our visitors as well as our local ambassadors.  

National Travel and Tourism Week schedule of events:
Sunday, May 7 – Saturday, May 13
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for posts highlighting this year’s NTTW theme of #TravelForward.  

Monday, May 8 – Friday, May 12 Spin-the-Wheel for Tickets and New Merch!
Stop by the Visit Gainesville, Alachua County office at 33 N Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. for event ticket and merch giveaways. What’s Good fans are going to want to be the first to pick up fresh off the press new logo T-shirts.  

Monday, May 8 What’s Good Weekly Event Guide Celebrates 4-Years!
Unveiling the *NEW* What’s Good logo and masthead as we celebrate 4-years of the award-winning What’s Good weekly event guide with new t-shirts and a sign-up campaign.  

Tuesday, May 9 NTTW Proclamation
The public is invited to attend the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners meeting at 11:30 a.m. at the County Administration Building (12 SE 1st St. – 2nd Floor).  

Social Media Tourism Industry Visibility Day
Member of the tourism and hospitality industry will share branded posts to raise awareness of the different members of our community who are part of What’s Good in Alachua County.  

Friday May 12
Hospitality and tourism industry partner appreciation coffee at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County office at 33 N Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. If you work for the tourism, travel and hospitality industry stop by and say hello!

asian american and pacific islander month

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May

View museum exhibits or learn on your own about the cultural heritage and contributions from Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders. 

She/Her/Hers: Women in the Arts of China exhibit at the Harn Museum of Art

With over 3,500 works, the Harn’s Asian art collection spans the Neolithic period through cutting-edge contemporary art. Learn more about the Asian collection at the Harn Museum of Art.

Gallery Talk: She/Her/Hers with Dr. Tongyun Yin at the Harn Museum of Art
Sunday, May 7, 3 p.m.
Join Cofrin Curator of Asian Art, Dr. Tongyun Yin, for a gallery talk highlighting the exhibition that explores the intersecting roles women have played as pictorial subjects, artists and consumers of art in premodern, modern and contemporary China. 

Explore Books and Movies for All Ages with the Alachua County Library District

Research and Faculty Highlights from the University of Florida

For more of the timely entertainment information you love, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok for daily updates and re-shares of your inspiring photos. Tag us at #whatsgoodalachuacounty.

Pop-Up Markets

illustraiton of happy cow and trees and butterflies

Browse Plant-Based Vendors at May Farmers Moo-Ket at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary
Sunday, May 7, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Shop local boutiques and national brands at Butler Enterprises, Celebration Pointe, The Oaks Mall and Shoppes at Thornebrook.

Arts & Theatre

13th Annual Public Reading and Reception of the Veterans for Peace Poetry Contest at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville
Saturday, May 6, 2 p.m.

Dance Alive National Ballet’s Next Generation Presents 14×7 Spring Concert at Eastside High School
Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m.

Events & Festivals

2nd Annual Alachua County Artists Conference at Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center
Friday, May 5, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cinco de Mayo and International Female Riders Day at Gainesville Harley-Davidson
Friday, May 5, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday, May 6, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Free Comic Book Day at Alachua County Library District
Saturday, May 6

car show in downtown gainesville

Great Gainesville Car Show at Bo Diddley Plaza
Saturday, May 6, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Draw Jam at Sequential Artists Workshop
Saturday, May 6, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Candle Making Workshop with Earthtonix at 4th Ave Food Park
Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Pet Photo Sessions, Vendors, Live Music and Comedy at Pitty Fest at Lebowskis Pup Pub
Sunday, May 7, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m

Music & Performance

Motown, R&B and Soul with The Browns at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, May 5, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Couch Messiahs at One Love Café
Friday, May 5, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

R&B, Folk and Jazz at the EP Release Show of Jernie at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, May 5, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Singer-Songwriter Cam Wheaton at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Friday, May 5, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Punk with Mike and the Nerve at Loosey’s Downtown
Friday, May 5, 8 p.m.

Cyberpunk Themed Dark Futures Concert & Library Dance Party at Civic Media Center
Friday, May 5, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Non-Traditional American Music with Mattew McCartney at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, May 6, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Motown and Blues with Raftus Brown at One Love Café
Saturday, May 6, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Metal with Northwood at High Dive
Saturday, May 6, 8 p.m.

friends of mine disco

Friends of Mine: Disco Tropical at The Backyard at Boca Fiesta & Palomino
Saturday, May 6, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

broken hearts ball

Pop Punk and Emo Night: Broken Hearts Ball (Emo Prom) at Vivid Music Hall
Saturday, May 6, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

YouTube Kids Stars Jack Harmann and Handyman Hal at 5701 Venue
Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

rhinestones and rust

Rhinestones Rust: A Night of Alt-Country & Trad Music at Loosey’s Downtown
Sunday, May 7, 4 p.m.

Jazz with Decyo and the Newcombs at One Love Café
Sunday, May 7, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Tom Petty Tribute with The Broken Hearts at High Dive
Sunday, May 7, 6 p.m.

Country Roots with Pop and R&B with Jacob Rice at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, May 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Rock with No Hit Wonders at High Dive
Wednesday, May 10, 7 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Cinco de Mayo Mexican Lager Release and Holiday Glassware at Swamp Head Brewery
Friday, May 5, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

crawfish boil

1st Annual Crawfish Boil at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, May 6, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

U-Picks & Farmers Markets

U-Pick Blueberries at Santa Fe Blueberries
Open Daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

U-Pick Blueberries at Aunt Zelma’s Blueberries
Friday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

U-Pick Blueberries at Straughn Farms in Archer
Wednesday – Friday, 4 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Grove Street Farmers Market with Live Music
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Archer Farmers Market Spring Plant Sale at Archer Historical Society Railroad Museum
Tuesday, March 7, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

gnv market

GNV Market at South Main Station Featuring Live Music
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

High Springs Farmers Market
Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Alachua County Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Newberry Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Haile Village Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Waldo Farmers Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites and Brunch

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, May 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Wine Tasting at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, May 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Wine Tasting at Uppercrust
Saturday, May 6, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

(sold out) All About Pies Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan
Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


NCAA Tennis Championships Gators Women’s Tennis vs. North Florida at Alfred A Ring Tennis Complex
Friday, May 5, 2 p.m.

Summit Drag Racing Bracket Series at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, May 6 – Sunday, May 7  

Perfect Game Qualifier Softball Tournament at Champions Park
Saturday, May 6 – Sunday, May 7

archery targets

Funtastic Fridays Archery at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Friday, April 28, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Free Soccer Clinic for Ages 5-17 with RaddSports at Legacy Park Sports Complex
Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Parks & Trails

Accessible Tram Tours at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Ongoing, Check for Availability
Thursday, May 4, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Tuesday, May 9, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Free Timed 5K at Depot Park parkrun
Saturday, May 6, 7:30 a.m.

bridge at oleno state park

Birding Field Trip with Alachua Audubon Society at O’Leno State Park
Saturday, May 6, 8 a.m.

Daily Adventures of a Wildlife Rehabilitator—What does a Wildlife Rehabilitator Really Do? at Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Park
Sunday, May 7, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Wednesday, May 10, 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

River & Springs

lazy river at kulaqua river ranch

Splash in the Wave Pool or Float Down the Lazy River at Kulaqua River Ranch Community Days
Sunday, May 7, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Paddling on the Santa Fe River

Paddle 8 Springs in 8 Miles or Slowly Float Down the Santa Fe River at Poe Springs Park with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures
Friday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Float or Splash Into Freshwater Springs
North Florida is home to the largest collection of first-magnitude springs in the United States.

Museums & Galleries

harn museum after dark

Art After Dark at the Harn Museum of Art
Thursday, May 4, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Creating Artful Photos with iPhone Workshop at GFAA Gallery
Saturday, May 6, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Storytelling and Songwriting with The Erasables “Unplugged” at Theatre of Memory
Saturday, May 6, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Ukrainian Egg Dyeing Workshop with Suzanne Byrne at Artisans Guild Gallery
Monday, May 8, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Apparallel and John Ward: Behind the Seen at The Historic Thomas Center
Now through Friday, September 8

profile of model wearing hoop earings

Now on View at the Harn Museum of Art: Posing Beauty in African American Culture at the Harn Museum of Art
Tuesdays – Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fridays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sundays, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the ways in which African and African American beauty has been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through a diverse range of media including photography, video, fashion and advertising.

spiders exhibit

Get Up Close and Explore the World of Arachnids at Spiders Alive! at the Florida Museum of Natural History
With more than a dozen live species from around the world, the new exhibit dives into the world of spiders, scorpions and their relatives. Featured animals on display include the Asian Forest Scorpion, Brazilian Red and White Tarantula, Southern Black Widow, Wolf Spider and more. Go hands-on with large touchable models revealing a closer look at spider anatomy. Plan your visit online.
Photo courtesy Florida Museum / Jeff Gage

Discover a Unique African American Culture at Gullah Geechee – African Connections and Cultural Traditions in America at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Save The Date

Wombash 2023 Featuring Sister Hazel, May 12-13

Easton Foundations Gator Cup, May 12-14

Swallowtail Farm Brunch Experience, May 13

Journey to Juneteenth Kickoff, May 19

Newberry Watermelon Festival, May 20

For a complete list of events please visit

Thank you for your continued partnership! Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

Your participation, communication, and sharing of events and programs is a key way for us to market our community to visitors and to enhance the engagement of residents in all of the incredible programs you create.

Put simply, the more you share with us, the more we have to promote. Please read the attached PDF document for additional ways in which your organization can participate.

Visit Gainesville, Alachua County | (352) 374-5260 | 33 North Main Street, Gainesville 32601 Never miss an event: Follow Visit Gainesville, Alachua County on social media.

This publication contains information about events, venues and activities in Alachua County, Florida. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the information is accurate. We are not responsible for errors or omissions in the information provided. For complete details, contact the host directly. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not represent, warrant, undertake or guarantee that the information is correct, accurate, complete or non-misleading. We will not be liable to you in respect of any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.  

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